I, for one, did not know that we went to war over oil. NO, stupid, not THAT war! The war after the War to End All Wars. And we started it. Kinda. Not really, but weak leadership from the POTUS didn’t help anyway.
Cliffs: In 1941 . . .
- Japan be all up in China’s business
- USA supplies almost all Japan’s oil and refined petroleum products
- USA starts licensing shipments of anything to Japan but grants all the licenses
- President Roosevelt took a short vacation
- An administration official decided to cut off the licenses (and all trade with Japan)
- President returns, decides to keep the licenses cut off
- Japan sees they will soon run out of energy, national leadership undergoes dramatic change with stronger militaristic overtones
- USA builds air bases across the Pacific Ocean to support a potential war effort, just in case
- Japan’s new leaders see the new bases as proof of USA hostility
- Japan attacks USA to prevent being starved of oil
- (fast forward)
- Japan, starved for oil in spite of striking first with bullets/bombs, with ALL but two of her cities carpet-firebombed and/or nuked, surrenders a few years later.
See, I didn’t know that “Smart Diplomacy” has a history of egging on people who could have been peaceful (toward us) to war with us in such a dramatically-similar fashion to what is going on today.
Hold on there.
Yeah, today. Russia acts to defend herself when a buffer state (Ukraine) is looking like it will go to NATO and stop being a buffer against the west. Russia (approximately) gobbles up the Crimean peninsula. The West imposes sanctions. The sanctions fail to dent Russia at all, then Russia imposes sanctions and everybody sort-of starts sucking worse than usual in Europe and Russia both.
What does this have to do with Japan, c. 1941 though? C’mon VFD live in the now!
Russia supplies Europe with natural gas and oil. As in, without Russian gas and oil, Europe no-shit collapses as a society. Russia cutting off energy exports to Europe will damage Europe every bit as much as a shooting war. And guess who holds the chips in this game of poker? Hint: it ain’t Europe. Sure, producers in the USA would be happy to triple energy prices and send tankers over there, and so would China, Venezuela, etc. That would take, what, a couple of years? A year at least. There is no infrastructure to support international (non-Russian) oil and gas supplies in the extent that Europe would need them, if Russia cuts Europe off.
Now I ask you, what is keeping Russia from cutting Europe off cold?
The good will of one V. Putin, that’s what. And we’re standing outside the sliding glass doors on the back side of his house, pissing on his patio.
This is politics only, my friends. Simply politics. Another name for the current situation is “cold” war. History may not repeat itself exactly, but it does tend to rhyme. And right now it looks like Dr. Seuss is setting up one humm-dinger of a rhyme with Russian oil and natural gas supplies to the EU. M. Shedlock notes that Russia could close some valves and trigger a shockwave and the collapse of QUADRILLIONS of dollars worth of derivative investments linked to … well, linked to the idea of the economy of Europe not collapsing. The worst case is global nuclear war. A somewhat distant second (from across the pond) is tens or hundreds of millions of Europeans dead due to a societal collapse. And Russia doesn’t have to fire a shot to do it to them.
Do you call it “war” when your actions cause millions of foreigners to die? Even if you’re shooting paper airplanes instead of bullets?
“war is the pointy end of politics”